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Shields settles down after rough start in tuneup

AP - Sports
Shields settles down after rough start in tuneup
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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- James Shields gave up seven runs in the first inning Wednesday before settling down to throw three scoreless ones in his final start before opening day in the Kansas City Royals' 9-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Shields gave up six hits, walked one and hit a batter as the Padres sent 11 to the plate in the first. Shields allowed only one hit after that and finished with a 4.74 spring ERA.

''They were just hitting groundballs that found some holes,'' Shields said. ''I was trying to stay aggressive. Walking the first guy didn't help. But other than the first inning, I thought it was a pretty good effort.''

Shields will start Monday at Detroit as the Royals try to end a 28-year postseason drought, longest in the majors.

Padres starter Ian Kennedy gave up solo home runs to Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez on consecutive pitches in a two-inning stint that included three runs and six hits.

Perez left in the third after he has hit in the head by Johnny Barbato's curveball. A team spokesman said he didn't sustain a concussion.

''The one Perez hit was hit hard. The one Gordon hit was a flyball the wind got,'' Padres manager Bud Black. ''Pitch count (53) was a little high for two innings.''

Robbie Erlin, a candidate to start for San Diego while Josh Johnson (forearm) is sidelined, allowed six hits and struck out six in five shutout innings.

STARTING TIME

Royals: Five times in the first inning, the Padres swung at Shields' first pitch. it resulted in four hits and a sacrifice bunt.

''Last game of spring training, they're swinging early,'' Shields said.

Padres: It was a mediocre spring for Kennedy, who finished with a 6.33 ERA. He's scheduled to start San Diego's second regular-season game Wednesday against the Dodgers.

PEREZ SCARE

Perez was the batter who hit the liner into Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman's face last week, causing a facial fracture that required surgery.

This time, the catcher was on the other end of a scary incident, being hit in the head with a pitch.

''I'm fine,'' Perez said through a team spokesman.

GRANDAL TO DL?

The Padres will decide this weekend whether to carry three catchers or place Yasmani Grandal on the disabled list.

Grandal has made a rapid recovery from right knee ACL surgery in July. He caught nine innings in a minor league game Monday, but is not ready to catch consecutive days.

''I'll be in San Diego, but I think it's going to be more of a see what happens in the next five days, see how it feels,'' Grandal said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Reliever Louis Coleman, who has a 13.50 ERA this spring while pitching with a bruised right middle finger, will stay behind in Arizona and is expected to start the season on the disabled list. . Second baseman Omar Infante (elbow) went 2 for 5 and played five innings in the field in a minor league game. Manager Ned Yost said he'll DH in a minor league game Thursday and if that goes well he'll rejoin the team in Milwaukee.

Padres: Outfielder Carlos Quentin was a late scratch with left knee pain. . Outfielder Chris Denorfia (shoulder) will stay in Arizona and play in a minor league game Thursday. Black said he's ''still optimistic'' Denorfia will be ready for the opener. . Outfielder Cameron Maybin (torn biceps) is swinging in the batting cage and playing catch this week. He's expected to miss another two to four weeks. . Right-hander Joe Wieland had surgery to remove loose cartilage in his elbow and won't resume a throwing program for six weeks.

PAYROLL BOOST

The Padres' payroll will surpass $90 million this season for the first time, according to a study of all contracts by The Associated Press.

San Diego ranks 21st among 30 teams, with the Royals 19th at just over $92 million.

UP NEXT

Both teams were leaving Arizona after the game for two final exhibitions.

The Padres return home to play the Indians on Friday and Saturday at the University of San Diego.

The Royals will face the Brewers in Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday.

''I'm excited about taking a good team in there,'' said Yost, a former Brewers player and manager.

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